One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(Originally) a non-exclusive, non-transferable licence to use a patented design, sold or granted to an individual manufacturer (now rare).
2(Now usually) specifically the right of an employer to use (without payment of royalties) a patented design developed by an employee in the course of his or her employment and using the employer's premises or equipment.
Mid 19th century.
In this article we explore how to impress employers with a spot-on CV.